HUXLEY - Freshman Josie Fleischmann came up huge down the stretch to spark a 52-43 comeback win by the Ballard girls’ basketball team over Carlisle Dec. 19 in Huxley.


All 14 of Fleischmann’s points came after the one-and-a-half minute mark of the third quarter. She helped take Ballard from down 25-18 at the half into the lead, and the Bombers kept building their advantage down the stretch to improve to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in the Raccoon River Conference.


“Carlisle’s a big rival and we were down seven at half,” Fleischmann said. “We all kind of knew it was now step it up or never.”


Fleischmann hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 left in the third to tie the score at 29-29. She followed with a basket just before the buzzer to give Ballard its first lead of the game.


Fleischmann added a basket off a pass from Maggie Larson and two free throws to push Ballard’s lead to 37-29 with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter. She scored two more buckets to help the Bombers go up 10 late in the quarter and Carlisle never made a serious run after that.


“It was all passes,” Fleischmann said. “I have to thank my teammates for open looks.”


Aggressive play also played a part in Fleischmann’s success. After canning her tying 3-pointer in the third quarter, she was able to constantly attack the rim and find holes in the Carlisle defense.


“I like to drive,” Fleischmann said. “When I get the opportunity, I try and take it.”


Ballard played with great poise and discipline in the second half. They only turned the ball over three times during the final two quarters, after giving it up 13 times in the first half.


“I feel like we were just less flustered and more prepared (after) halftime,” Ballard senior Ana Vier said. “We took our time (after) we were rushing the ball in the first half.”


Vier played an important role in the Bomber win. She scored nine points and had four rebounds and two blocks in the low post battling a taller player in Carlisle’s Meredith Hoffman.


“Hoffman and I played volleyball against each other and now basketball, so we kind of have been going at it,” Vier said. “I just had to be smart and not foul, and on offense make moves on her. It was great, I love playing against her.”


Hoffman finished with eight points.


Molly Ihle made some big free throws down the stretch for Ballard. She had another strong all-around game with eight points, seven steals, six rebounds and three assists.


Maggie Larson chipped in six points, three assists and two steals and Sydni Thrailkill scored five points for Ballard.


Carlisle dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference with the loss. Molly Hoekstra netted a game-high 20 points and Kennedy Preston matched Hoffman with eight points for the Wildcats.


Ballard 52, Carlisle 43


C 11 14 4 14 - 43


B 8 10 13 21 - 52


Carlisle (43) - Molly Hoekstra 5-10 6-7 20, Meredith Hoffman 4-5 0-2 8, Kennedy Preston 3-6 1-2 8, Madi Hoekstra 2-4 1-2 5, Ceora LeClaire 1-8 0-0 2, Abby Curtis 0-3 0-0 0, Delaney Schnathorst 0-2 0-0 0, Megan Sievers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-38 8-13 43. 3-point field goals (5): Mo. Hoekstra 4, Preston. Fouls: 21.


Ballard (52) - Josie Fleischmann 5-8 3-4 14, Ana Vier 4-9 1-4 9, Molly Ihle 1-4 6-9 8, Maggie Larson 2-7 1-2 6, Sydni Thrailkill 2-4 0-0 5, Charity Ransom 2-3 0-0 4, Tara Sanders 1-4 0-0 3, Karlee Ahrenholtz 1-1 1-2 3, Summer McVicker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-40 12-21 52 3-point field goals (4): Fleischmann, Larson, Thrailkill, Sanders. Rebounds (22): Ihle 6. Assists (15): Fleischmann 4. Steals (16): Ihle 7. Blocks (2): Vier 2. Fouls: 13.